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Creating a Population Pyramid in Microsoft Excel

population, pyramid, excel, Microsoft, Office, 2007, 2010Creating a Population Pyramid in Microsoft Excel

These instructions are intended to enable school students to construct a population pyramid using Microsoft Office Excel 2007 or 2010. There are alternative methods out there on the Internet, which might suit some students better, but this step-by-step guide is intended to be foolproof.

If you are only interested in copying and pasting someone else’s population pyramid then there are plenty of sources, however doing so will almost certainly not earn marks for the skills involved; the only credit would come from any commentary upon it. MAKE YOUR OWN; IT’S EASY!

Click on this link to find the instructions for creating a climate graph in Microsoft Office Excel.

The first section deals with finding the data, so if you already have this information please click here and you’ll be taken directly to the relevant page and will start at instruction number 10.


There are several good data sources; the United Nations and the United States Census are the two I have used most often but for the purposes of this demonstration I’m using the United States Census figures as they come in a handy format, cover the whole world and are sourced from the individual countries themselves. Basically I trust the US Census figures enough to use them myself, although care should be taken if attempting the task for Cuba, North Korea, Iran, etc, as the figures might have been deliberately changed! The other advantage of the US Census figures is that they produce their own population pyramid with which you can compare your own finished product.

Here we go...

1. Click on this link, which leads you to the US Census Bureau:


2. This page will appear where you can select the country and the year you require.

3. The next page looks like this; just click on “Population Pyramids” but do take a look at all the other information that is available.

4. Their population pyramid looks like the one below but these instructions aim for a better presentation. The data can be downloaded by clicking the tiny “Excel” link in the bottom left hand corner. It is really important to check the Source Information, the link on the top, far right. This states where the data has really come from and whether it is an estimate; it might be worth changing the year you have selected if the data is not accurate. It is at this stage that you can compile the information you require for your bibliography; this should be enough:

U.S. Census. “International Database”. 2012. U.S. Government. Accessed: 2/11/2012.

5. When the data has downloaded open the Excel file and it will look like this. Highlight the area shown and press ctrl and C at the same time. If you’ve not used this shortcut before it simply copies the highlighted area.

6. Open a new Excel file and with the cursor in cell A1 press ctrl and V (this pastes the highlighted area into your new document).